Fan Police Constable Jon Punt puts down his heavy scarf in order to deliver this absolute order. Do as he says, yeah?
Must win, relegation six pointer, a springboard to potential safety. Whatever you want to label it as, tonight is huge. Or HUGE, if you will.
Herr Farke will play it down in the media, correctly pointing out there’s 26 games and 78 points left to play for when the Friday night lights are turned off – but we all recognise the reality. This is huge (HUGE).
Norwich City are a side low on confidence and lower in the table. After 11 games we’re seriously struggling, to an extent that not many supporters foresaw. Turns out the Lawrensons, Adrian Durhams and Paul Mersons of the ‘can’t be arsed to do any real research’ punditry world might have been right all along. Well fuck them. We’re Norwich City, we like to do things differently.
The magic dust sprinkled so liberally around Carrow Road in 2018/19 hasn’t quite worn off for many of us. Yet. There are still plenty who believe, who hope and believe that the attacking verve and swagger of last term will quickly return, once a fortuitous goal or wildly unexpected result starts to restore the confidence in the camp.
We can all play a part though. Players, coaching staff and the executive team at the club regularly go on the record about atmosphere and the effect it can have.
They don’t do that to pay lip service, or to ensure the latest pictures of flag displays or videos of a raucous Carrow Road are able to help them sell the fan experience, although that’s a fringe benefit for sure.
They do it because it helps.
It helps the players to feel like we’re still a unified force, battling the odds to try and stay in the division.
It helps fans actually try and enjoy match days, rather than just accepting our perceived fate.
And ok, it probably helps Ben Kensell sell next season’s away day memberships, which I can exclusively reveal come with a ‘money can’t buy’ yellow and green unicorn for 2020/21.
So let’s help each other. Tonight, if you’re able to and actually want to (we’re not the fan police after all), get down to the ground early. Along Come Norwich and Barclay End Norwich are asking (not telling) fans to get to their seats long before kick off to try and start building the atmosphere. When the players are warming up, we want them to be able to hear us from the stands, to know that we’re right behind them right from the off, come what may.
If the unthinkable happens and Andre Gray flukes one off his arse only minutes into the match, respond with a rousing OTBC. It helps the players more than you think. Leave your feelings about the board, the lack of transfer activity or Todd Cantwell’s latest hair disaster at home. Give them a night off.
Friday night’s frustrated failures will be cut adrift at the foot of the table with a mammoth (although not impossible) task. For a City side short on experience, both at this level and of relegation dogfights, it doesn’t bear thinking about it being us.
So let’s help them win and we all win.